Good Reads: | SierraSun.com

Good Reads:

Barbara Perlman-Whyman
Barbara Perlman-Whyman
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“Love is, above all else, the gift of oneself.”

Valentine’s Day has a very sketchy background, far from the holiday we celebrate today.

Named for St. Valentine, its patron saint, its history is shrouded in mystery and even the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.

Feb. 14 always speaks to love, and, as customary in America where commercialism dictates, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged as a demonstration of one’s affection.

But must we have a significant other and give or receive bought items to acknowledge the love we feel?

Absolutely not!

In fact, most of us living here at Tahoe share a love of “place” every day, and require no other person in our life to feel so.

We feel fortunate to live in such a beautiful, inspiring, and “special” environment, and would choose not to live anywhere else.

If that resonates with you, perhaps on Valentine’s Day you might wish to take a walk along the beach, a hike on a clear path, or snowshoe across the meadow and think of a way you might volunteer to “give back” to nature and show appreciation.

We love our pets, as they do us, unconditionally so Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to take a little extra time playing with them and let them show you their love for you.

And think about yourself and what can you do today to show yourself love and respect.

Morgan Kriz recommends reading The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz, a simple life-changing book as a guide for living your life in a more satisfying manner.

Published in 1997, the ideas come from the ancient Toltec wisdom of the native people of Southern Mexico.

The Toltec were ‘people of knowledge,’ scientists and artists who created a society to explore and conserve the traditional knowledge and practices of their ancestors.

The Toltec viewed science and spirit as part of the same entity, believing that all energy ” material and ethereal ” is derived from and governed by the universe.

Although brought up to follow his family’s Toltec ways, Ruiz who was born and raised in rural Mexico, chose to pursue a conventional education, ultimately leading him to qualify as a surgeon.

But the result of a car crash brought him back to his Toltec roots in the late 1970s and after twenty years he wrote The Four Agreements.

Subsequently he published three additional books before experiencing and surviving a serious heart attack in 2002.

“The Four Agreements,” Don Miquel Ruiz’s Code for Life based on Toltec wisdom, are as follows:

Be impeccable with your word ” Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean.

Avoid using the eword to speak against yourself or gossip about others.

Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don’t take anything personally ” Nothing anything others do is because of you.

What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.

When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Don’t make assumptions ” Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.

Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.

With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Always do your best ” Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.

Under the circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

He has given us is an inspirational, life-long personal development template for behavior, communication and relationships.

What a lovely gift for each of us to give ourselves for Valentine’s Day!